AOC U3477PQU Monitor Review
Sometime ago I took a look at what was described as the most Gaming focused monitor that we have ever seen here at pcGameware, that monitor was the Asus Swift PG278Q. Today I will be taking a look at what must be the coolest and probably one of the most desirable monitors on the market today. Enter the AOC U3477PQU, a 34″ 21:9 Ultra Wide IPS monitor with a WQHD resolution of 3440 x 1440!
The AOC U3477PQU also features a USB Hub with x2 USB 2.0 ports, x1 USB 3.0 ports and a Fast Charge port. The monitor has a height adjustable stand and supports a degree of both tilt and swivel.
The AOC U3477PQU arrived at pcG in the largest monitor box that I have ever seen (making photography difficult!). On opening the top of the box reveals the basic assembly instructions.
Digging deeper into the box we can see that the monitor and its contents are protected by hard polystyrene foam.
The 34″ panel itself was protected by a hard foam tray and covered with a soft cell bag.
Removing the bag allows us to take a look at the mammoth panel 34″ within, it is at this point that the desirability begins to kick in… 😉
The contents of the box (other than monitor itself) are listed and shown below:
At the time of writing the AOC U3477PQU is retailing for approximately £644 on Amazon and comes with a 3 year warranty.
courtesy of AOC
|Visible Screen Size||86.7 cm|
|Brightness||300 cd/m² (typ)|
|Contrast Ratio Dynamic||80.000.000:1|
|Contrast Ratio Typical||1.000:1 (CR)|
|Pixel / Dot / Pitch||0.2325 (H) x 0.2325 (V) mm|
|Display Area||799.8 (H) x 334.8 (V)|
|Viewing Angle||178 (H) / 178 (V) (CR≧10)|
|Response Time||5 ms GTG|
|Scanning Frequency||H: 30-160 KHz (DisplayPort) 30-99 KHz (VGA / DVI-D / HDMI) / V: 23-80 Hz|
|Pixel Frequency||600MHz (DisplayPort) / 300MHz (DVI-D/HDMI) / 205MHz (VGA)|
|Maximum Resolution||3440 x 1440@60 Hz|
|Recommend Resolution||3440 x 1440@60 Hz|
|Analogue Input: D-Sub||x|
|Digital Input: DVI-D / HDMI||x / x|
|Composite CVBS Input||–|
|Component CVBS Input||–|
|Display Port Input||x|
|D-Sub 15 pin||x|
|Display Port Input||x|
|Power Source||100 – 240 V AC, 50 / 60 Hz|
|Power Consumption||On: 70W, Standby: 0.3W, Off: 0.1W|
|Plug & Play|
|Regulations||CE, Energy Star 6.0, EPEAT Silver, GOST, ISO 9241-307, RoHS, Ukrain Safety, TCO 6.0, TÜV-GS|
|Other Features||-5/24 Tilt, 130 mm Height Adjustment, Audio out, Eco Mode, e-Saver, i-Menu, Kensington Security Lock, MHL, screen+, USB 2x 2.0, 2x 3.0, VESA 100 mm|
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||828.0 x 624.5 x 229.2 mm|
|Weight||10.0 kg wo/packaging // 13.74 kg w/packaging|
First impressions of the AOC U3477PQU are shock and awe closely followed by desire and love! Yes that’s right and you guessed it; once you’ve got the monstrous 34″ panel out of the box and you have recovered from the sheer size of the thing (even my wife was impressed! 😉 ), you immediately begin to wonder how you may me able afford one of these monitors for yourself. Of course you’ve probably already guessed it’s going to cost you…
What’s particularly impressive is the panel’s bezel at just 10mm, it’s quite narrow allowing the monitor to sport a really clean, simple (yet elegant!) look.
The stand is easy to assemble and comes in effectively two parts; the base and the stand (the four screws connect the stand to the monitor). The base is connected to the stand and held in place by a single thumb screw, that’s hidden beneath a rotating plastic cover on the bottom of the base. At the back of the stand arm itself there’s a basic cable tidy that in practice is next to useless, which is a shame.
Unfortunately the base came to me in a rather filthy state, not helped by its highly polished surface. After trying to clean it and failing it became obvious that the base top surface is prone to not only fingerprints, but all manner of other marks too. There were simple marks on the base surface that I could not seem to polish out. Suggesting that the material used is not a good choice…
INPUTS & OUTPUTS
On the bottom of the panel (in the centre) there’s an array of inputs and a curious choice of inputs it is too! Why? Well because only one input (DisplayPort) seems to support the full 3440 x 1400 resolution at 60Hz! Personally I think this is pretty crazy to say the least, as if you had two machines you could not connect them both at 60Hz.
On the right hand side of the the AOC U3477PQU there’s an array of USB ports, all very useful although from a cabling point of view I’m not sure the input is in the best place.
The controls for the AOC U3477PQU are to be found on the right of the panel (while facing it) and are depicted on the front. Here (see image below) you’ll also find the main power socket and its associated power switch. While powered on the panel sports a single blue LED, just to the right of the power button.
Taking a look at the back of the AOC U3477PQU there’s not all that much to see, which is kind of nice actually. The only things of note are the AOC logo at the top, the (well placed) cooling vents also at the top and the way the monitor attaches to the stand by way of a standard VESA mount and four screws. You can also clearly see the cut-out for the USB hub on the left.
The AOC U3477PQU features a good degree of height adjustment with the base of the monitor sitting 7cm from the desk at its lowest and 25cm from the desk at its highest. There’s also a good degree of both pivot and swivel. Rather surprisingly the AOC U3477PQU also supports a portrait mode!
Despite its strange array of inputs I must confess that I’m already in love with the AOC U3477PQU and I haven’t even turned it on yet… 😉
The AOC U3477PQU was tested using our Test Rig with a fresh installation of Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit (service pack 1) installed together with all the latest relevant drivers and software. No additional screen calibration software was used, all of the default modes were tested and then the screen was calibrated by hand and eye to the best of my ability.
To help in the evaluation of the monitor we will also be using the new MSI GTX 980 GAMING 4G card. Mainly because our normal test card is an AMD R9 290X but to drive this baby we are going to need all the horsepower we can lay our hands on… 😉
During the review I used the following Benchmarks and Games to help in the evaluation of the monitor.
Nothing really prepares you for gazing (longingly) at a 34″ IPS monitor with a resolution of 3440 x 1440, to say that it’s good would (obviously!) be an understatement, to say that it is great is probably an understatement also. To say that it looked AWESOME would be fair, but to be honest, I still don’t think it would do it justice. But to be fair any screen of the size and aspect ratio is likely to trigger the same response.
How does the AOC U3477PQU look out of the box, what’s that IPS panel like and how are those viewing angles? The image quality out of the box was extremely good in my eyes, with a rich vibrant, sharp and colourful image without being over saturated. The viewing angles are also very good, especially at the top/bottom, left/right are good but due to the wide nature of the screen the angle created is already quite tight.
In fact out of the box, I had no issues with the AOC U3477PQU’s image quality at all, and it’s one of the first times I was happy to leave the image settings exactly as they were.
But what about Gaming, what’s it like for Gaming? Well let’s take a look…
From a Gaming point of view the AOC U3477PQU brings with it the most immersive Gaming experience you’re likely to find this side of an Oculus Rift! Now that may be a bold statement, but to be fair there’s currently no other monitor that is likely to give you a better experience than any one of the current crop of 34″ 21:9 monitors (this AOC being one of them).
Gaming is awesome, forget 4K (no seriously, forget it!) monitors guys this is far better; better for Gaming and less demanding on your Graphics Card. The reason for this is that 4K (3440×2160) sees your GPU trying to push 8.2 million pixels around, while 3440×1440 sees your GPU trying to push less that 5 million pixels around, that’s a big difference. BUT: Please note, to push this level of detail around at 60 FPS requires a minimum of a GTX 980 if you’re using a single card. Better off with a pair of high powered cards in SLI/Crossfire for the best experience.
During Gaming I found the AOC U3477PQU’s panel to be both responsive (with its 5ms Response Time) and sharp with no sign of any discernible Input Lag. Whilst playing Alien Isolation the immersion was total (helped by what is a brilliant game); whilst creeping down the long corridors the tunnel affect of the AOC U3477PQU really helped me feel like I was aboard the ship. In FPS Gaming there’s not only the added level of immersion but there’s the fact that you can now see people to your left/right far more easily, it could even be considered cheating! 😉
What’s great about the AOC U3477PQU is that once you have seen it there’s no question you will want it, yes it really is that simple! But the bigger issue is what happens when you’ve got it. Now the question is; do you have enough horsepower to drive it?
The AOC U3477PQU came well packaged in what has to be the biggest monitor box that I have ever seen, but when you consider its 34″ diagonal dimension I guess it’s hardly surprising! Once out of the box you can marvel at its awesome 21:9 IPS 3440×1440 panel, it really is a thing of beauty and the narrow bezel affords the monitor a clean, simple yet elegant look.
Assembly of the monitor to its stand was a simple case of connecting the stand to the base by way of a single thumb screw, and then attaching the monitor to the stand using its VESA mount and four screws. Once on your desk thought’s of going back to a 16:9 screen begin to crop up, the real estate on offer here is impressive to say the least…
When is comes to Gaming the AOC U3477PQU really shone, with the extra width really adding to the immersion in Games like Alien Isolation. In FPS Games like Survarium, there’s the extra benefit of being able to see more of the playing area and even spot enemies that were otherwise hidden on a 16:9 display (a legitimate Hack maybe!?). But what’s really good about the U3477PQU is the fact that not only does it provide one of the best visuals this side of an Oculus Rift, but the image quality is also top notch. Out of the box the AOC U3477PQU image quality and colour temperatures were extremely good (by my eye) and it’s one of the first times that I’ve not messed with the out of box settings. There’s also very little discernible issues with the panel’s 5ms Response Time and I had no reason to think there was any Input Lag either. All in all a very good panel for Gaming.
The only real issues are the strange choice of inputs (D-Sub, DVI-D, HDMI and DisplayPort) as the only port that worked for me at 3440×1440 @60Hz was the DisplayPort, having another DisplayPort would therefore be useful IMHO. Then there’s the poor cable tidy on the back of the stand and the stands base that seems to want to hold on to your fingerprints even after a god clean. But all these to be fair, are niggles as what’s on offer here is a truly brilliant and unique Gaming experience.
When pcG was first told about the AOC U3477PQU, by AOC themselves I noted (here) that the SRP of the monitor would be £499.00! Now if that price was true today the AOC U3477PQU would have walked away with the first Platinum award we have ever given to a monitor. But alas, due to the fact that (at the time of review) it seems closer to £650 it misses out this time and has to settle for Gold.
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Where possible we always use Amazon’s price for Value…
Many thanks to AOC for providing this sample for review